Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views - March 22, 2016

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Cheap Pops - March 20, 2016

This week!

  • WWE Roadblock Results
  • Does Jacqueline belong in the Hall of Fame?
  • NXT Results
  • Lucha Underground Results

WWE Roadblock Results

  • WWE Tag Team Title Match: The New Day def The League of Nations

  • Chris Jericho def Jack Swagger

  • WWE NXT Tag Team Title Match: The Revival def. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady to retain the titles

  • WWE Divas Title Match: Charlotte def. Natalya to retain the title

  • Handicap Match: Brock Lesnar def. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper

  • Sami Zayn def. Stardust

  • WWE World Heavyweight Title Match:  Triple H def. Dean Ambrose to retain the title

Mike Maillaro: I will admit up front that I have not watched this one yet.  I do plan on watching it, but it’s been a hectic week with family illness and the wind down to spring break. So most of my comments here are going to be kind of general.

  1. I think these specials are a really good idea.  This may sound contradictory because I always used to say there are a few too many PPV’s and that the WWE doesn’t build the big shows as well as it could. But I see these kind of specials more in the vein of Saturday Night Main Event.  You put them on just a few weeks before a big show like Wrestlemania to help build some hype.  Since they are part of the package for the Network, you are not dropping an additional $40 for what amounts to a filler show.

  2. I was surprised that none of the titles changed hands.  If they really wanted to build some excitement moving towards Wrestlemania, an unexpected title change could have went a long way towards building that.  Especially since the crowd seems to be less than enthusiastic about Triple H Vs Reigns as a main event.

  1. It was real nice to see some talent featured who usually don’t appear on PPV’s.  Jack Swagger and Stardust both had matches on a big show...and it wasn’t in the Pre Show??  I am also glad that NXT stars like Enzo, Big Cass, Dash, and Dawson had the opportunity to perform for a bigger audience, though I might have replaced Enzo and Big Cass with American Alpha.  

  1. My only real concern is the length of the show.  When I was reading the results, they didn’t seem like there was a lot of filler or padding, but it’s still tricky to find an extra 3 hours to watch a special, especially for someone who might already be watching 5 hours of WWE programming a week with Raw and Smackdown. NXT’s specials are typically 2 hours, and I think that length makes a lot more sense for shows like this.  

Does Jacqueline belong in the WWE Hall of Fame?

Last week, the WWE announced that Jacqueline will be added to the Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

Jacqueline, a true trailblazer for women in the sports-entertainment industry, will take her well-deserved place in history in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, when she is enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.

Her journey to sports-entertainment immortality began in the late 1980s in Dallas, where she trained under the nefarious Skandor Akbar. The lone female in Akbar’s academy, Jacqueline cut her teeth in the world-famous Sportatorium, where the Von Erich Family and Fabulous Freebirds engaged in one of the most heated rivalries ever.

She traveled to Memphis and Japan to further hone her craft before bursting onto the national scene with WCW in 1997. As the manager of the devilish Kevin Sullivan, Jacqueline showed she was just as tough as any man, clobbering Sullivan’s opponents with vicious blows and slamming them onto unforgiving arena floors.

Jacqueline jumped to WWE in 1998, aiding Marvelous Marc Mero in his quest to take back the spotlight from Sable. The hard-hitting competitor ended up taking some glory for herself, winning the reinstated WWE Women’s Championship with a victory over the blonde bombshell. She captured the championship once again in 2000.

In addition to her in-ring battles, Jacqueline took on a number of other jobs within WWE. She served as a trainer and mentor to hopeful Superstars and Divas on the first season of the reality show Tough Enough and donned stripes to enforce the rules as a WWE referee. She returned to the ring in 2004, answering the open challenge of Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero. Though Guerrero treated Jacqueline like a joke, the fierce Diva brought the fight to Guerrero and shocked the world by pinning him to capture the title. True to her groundbreaking nature, Jacqueline became the third woman ever to hold the Cruiserweight Championship and the first to do so in WWE.

Now, on the eve of WrestleMania 32, the trailblazing Diva will add another accolade to her incredible resume, as she is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Josh Pollard: So I’ll just start off by saying...she’s in and Rick Rude isn’t, huh?

Mike: Not to mention Honky Tonk Man, who I was complaining about just a few weeks ago.  And this is exactly where I find myself stuck.  YES, Jacqueline was one of the few women who ever won a title that was traditionally for for guys (WWE Cruiserweight title).  YES, she pretty much went further than any other black female wrestler in the WWE.  YES, she worked closely with Tough Enough, and I would argue that without Tough Enough there would not be NXT.  

She definitely deserves props for all of that, but I can’t really think of anything particularly memorable about her.  Well, other than the fact she once flashed her breasts on screen, but that was pretty much the norm for WWE divas at the time.  Part of me can’t help but wonder, if Wrestlemania was anyplace else other than Texas (her home state), would she have ever inducted into the Hall of Fame?  I am not sure if that really is a fair question, but it keeps coming up whenever I think about this particular nomination.

Personally, I do think that the Hall of Fame does need more women.  AND it definitely needs to highlight more black wrestlers.  So, in those regards, Jacqueline is far from the worst choice for people in the Hall of Fame, but if you sat me down and asked me to list 50 names for the Hall of Fame, I honestly doubt I would have ever came up with Jacqueline.  

As for women, I would love to see Ivory inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Ivory was one of the few women who was able to have great matches, and they didn’t always end up falling into some simple attempt for cheap sex appeal.  She had a lot more to offer, and that made me a fan.  I also think that despite the controversy, Chyna needs to be in the Hall of Fame too.  

Josh: That’s kind of the thing too, that if you really want women to put into the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s pretty slim pickings to ones who were actually significant. Sunny is already in, Madusa is in, Trish Stratus is in. Chyna probably should be in, but won’t be for any number of reasons. It’s only very recently that they even started bothering to make women’s wrestling seem somewhat important.

NXT Results - March 16, 2016

  • Sami Zayn comes out to start the show. He talks about having a war with Samoa Joe last week.  He’s not the least bit embarrassed about the result.  They went toe to toe for a whole hour, and it could have gone either way.  Sami’s goal is still to become the first ever two-time NXT Champion.  Takeover Dallas is going to be huge.  NXT will steal the show on Wrestlemania weekend.  William Regal comes out.  He agrees with everything Sami has said.  He also feels Sami deserves something special for NXT Takeover Dalllas.  He will face NXT’s newest signing…  Shinsuke Nakamura on the screen.  He cuts a promo, but I couldn’t really hear what he was saying over the loud NXT crowd.  Sami seems really impressed by this choice.

  • The Hype Bros def. Angelo Dawkins and Kenneth Crawford with The Hype Ryder.  Squash #1

  • Recap of NXT at this year’s Arnold Classic

  • Emma and Dana Brooke are walking backstage.They pass Deonna Purrazzo, and start mocking her about how Asuka defeated her a few weeks ago.  But that is nothing like what Emma is going to do to Deonna tonight.  Deonna says she is going to stop the Emmalution tonight.

  • Emma def. Deonna Purrazzo with Emma Lock.  Squash #2

  • Recap of Enzo/Big Cass Vs the Revival at Roadblock.  The Revival won to retain the NXT Tag Titles with a wicked Shatter Machine off the top rope.  Tonight, American Alpha and the Vaudevillains will have a match to decide who the #1 contenders are for the tag titles.

  • Vaudevillains are backstage getting ready for their match tonight.

  • Tommaso Ciampa def Jesse Sorensen with a rollover armbar.  Squash #3

  • Recap of Bayley vs Carmella from a month ago.  After the match, Nia Jax and Eva Marie attacked both women, and Asuka made the save. I have typed this exact summary like four times now, that is how often NXT keeps reshowing it.

  • Bayley/Asuka def. Eva Marie and Nia Jax.  Asuka kicks Eva Marie from behind and Bayley finishes her off with the Bayley to Belly.   After the match, William Regal came down to give Asuka a title match against Bayley at NXT Takeover Dallas.

  • Recap of Austin Aries debut and the asskicking he got from Baron Corbin.  Interview with Aries.  He has a match with Corbin at NXT Takeover Dallas.  Baron Corbin made a mistake.  Aries has dealt with big, bad, insecure guys his whole career.  He’s going to teach Corbin a lesson.

  • Next Wednesday, Emma Vs Asuka

  • American Alpha def. The Vaudevillians with Grand Amplitude

Mike: A lot of tag matches tonight, and the first 3 matches were total squash matches.  It’s amazing how all WWE/NXT squash matches use the exact same boring formula. Star comes in hot over someone, who probably didn’t even get an entrance.  The squashee gets a quick flurry of offense in late in the match, only for the star to hit them with their finisher.  

Watching the recap of the Arnold Classic, I was reminded that the 2015 Arnold Classic was the first time the NXT did a show outside of Full Side University.  Since then, they’ve been all over the country and even done overseas shows.  It’s amazing how fast they have grown.

I feel bad for Deonna Purrazzo.  She has basically become the jobber to the stars.  She just gets beat up a lot by Asuka and now Emma.  Emma completely dominated this match, and I was surprised how much the crowd was behind her.  I like seeing Emma getting wins, but I still really want to see what Deonna Purrazzo can do in the ring. In each of her matches, she has a brief flurry of offense, and then loses.  

I like Tommaso Ciampa a lot, but again, this squash didn’t show me all that much. I did think it was messed up how the ring announcer kept screwing up his name.  Show some respect here people!  What’s the point of putting five matches in a show if three of them are going to be squashes.  I would have rather the last two matches gotten a little more time.

I actually really enjoyed the women’s tag match.  There was just a lot of real solid heel work by Eva Marie and Nia Jax.  Nia would beat down Bayley, and Eva would tag into pick over what’s left.  Eva Marie gets a lot of flak, but she really played the villain so well in this one, even giving a cheap shot to Asuka.  By the end, you really wanted to see Eva pay.  I was not expecting much from this one, but it turned out to be very entertaining.

American Alpha and The Vaudevillains match up so well.  All four men always bring something new to the ring, and it was just a brilliant match, though it could have used a lot more time.   That rolling German Suplex Gable came up with might have been one of the greatest wrestling moves I’ve ever seen.  I am not sure how such a “small” guy can roll through like that and still deadlift his opponent.  It’s just incredible.  American Alpha are totally in synch.  I really hope they will take the titles from The Revival.  American Alpha re definitely the hottest team in the very competitive NXT tag division.

The last two matches really saved this episode for me.  After the third squash in a row, I was really considering just turning the show off and watching Lucha Underground instead.  And once again, it was basically all tag matches and women’s matches.  The only single’s match for the guys was the Ciampa squash match.  Granted, we got 60 minutes of two guys wrestling last week, but it is still strange.

NXT Takeover Dallas is shaping up to be a hell of a show!

  • Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin    

  • The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) (c) vs. American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable)- Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship

  • Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura    

  • Bayley (c) vs. Asuka -    NXT Women's Championship

  • Finn Bálor (c) vs. Samoa Joe    -  NXT Championship

Sami had made the comment that NXT Takeover Dallas is going to steal the show next Wrestlemania weekend, and I am hard pressed to disagree.  That lineup looks so much better than what has already been announced for Wrestlemania. There is basically no match on the card that makes me say “I REALLY WANT TO SEE THAT!” Maybe the Triple Threat match for the Divas’ title, but WWE hasn’t convinced me that they can do a great divas match outside of NXT.  Hopefully they will add Sami Zayn Vs Kevin Owens to the card.

  • Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns -  WWE World Heavyweight Championship

  • Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker-     Hell in a Cell match; if Shane wins, he gains control of Raw

  • Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman))- No Holds Barred Street Fight

  • Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks - WWE Divas Championship

  • 30-man Battle Royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy

  • The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)    

  • The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The League of Nations (King Barrett, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev)    4-on-3 Handicap match for the WWE Tag Team Championship

  • Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback    Singles match for the WWE United States Championship

Josh: Gable’s Whatthefuckplex was completely insane. Left me speechless. It didn’t help that poor English took it like his neck bent off of the rest of him and wound up somewhere in his shoulder.

That guy could easily be the next Kurt Angle...but a lot of NXT people should have been way more than they ended up being after being called up, so who knows?

Lucha Underground Results March 16, 2016

  • Fenix is in the locker room.  Catrina appears in darkness. “I have tried everything to destroy you, but you keep rising.  I desire your powers.  They can give me life again.”  She holds his hand.  “Sometimes I wonder if I made the wrong choice. We could have ruled The Temple together.”  She kisses him.  “Our final kiss.  Tonight, Mil Muertes destroys Fenix once and for all.  And that will bring be back from death.”  She vanishes.  Fenix seems confused by everything that just happened.

  • Trios Title Match - Ivelisse, Son of Havoc, Angelico vs.. The Disciples of Death.  If Ivelisse’s team loses, they will have to leave The Temple forever.  Ivelisse, Son of Havoc, Angelico win.  Angelico hits the Fall of Angels and Son of Havoc finishes it off with a shooting star press.

  • Puma is in the back hitting a punching bag.  Johnny Mundo comes back and taunts him about Aztec Warfare.  Last year, Johnny was too easy on Puma.  This is Mundo’s time.  Johnny leaves. Puma punches right through the bag.  Damn!

  • Rey is sitting at a table with two glasses of tequila.  Dragon Azteca enters.  Rey tells him that his training is complete. Rey has something for him. It’s an invitation to go to the Temple and participate in Aztec Warfare. Rey also received one.  They both has something to prove.  They drink.  May the best man win.

  • Bullrope Match - Texano def. Chavo Guerrero with sitout power bomb.  The Crew came down with Chavo, but when Chavo told them to attack Texaco, they refused and abandoned him.  After the match, Texano whips Chavo with the bullrope.

  • Last week, Mil Muertes defeated Puma and Pentagon, but Fenix cashed in his Gift of the Gods title for a title shot tonight.

  • Mil is backstage beating the crap out of the Disciples.  They try to fight back, but Mil is too much.  Catrina gets him to spare them. They head out for Mil’s title match.

  • 375 Miles away from the Temple, Dario Cueto and Lotus are outside the “fake” Temple while Matanza continues to destroy victims.  Dario decides he’s ready and it’s time to take back The Temple.  Dario uses his key to release Mataza. We get out first look at Dario’s massive, blood-covered brother.

  • Fenix def. Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground title.  Mil went for the Flatliner, but Fenix managed to roll him up for the win.  After the match, Catrina announces that next week’s Aztec Warfare will now be for the Lucha Underground title.  Fenix will enter at #1, and Mil will be the last entrant at #20

Mike: Good trios match to start the show. I loved how coordinated Ivelisse and company were.  The Disciples quickly took control, isolating Ivelisse, but she refused to back down.  I love how Ivelisse is basically the muscle of the team.  My only gripe here is that Lucha Underground really needs more Trios.  Ivelisse and company are awesome, but they don’t really have all that much competition. The Disciples don’t do all that much other than outnumber and beatdown. The Crew is basically down to two guys these days.  What’s the point of having a title that there is really no opposition to defend against?

The Bullrope match was pretty vicious looking.  Texano Vs Chavo has been one of my least favorite Lucha Underground stories, but these two guys really do sell the story as well as they can.  It helps when the commentators talking about their families’ impact on Lucha Libre.  I am not really a fan of bullrope matches.  It just makes for awkward matches with the wrestlers trying not to trip over a long rope dangling between them. I don’t mind gimmick matches, but this one has never really added anything to a match for me.  Despite all that, I still thought this was a real solid match.

I do want to give a lot of credit to Chavo Guerrero.  He’s an executive producer on Lucha Underground, and basically has more experience than anyone else on the show. Despite that, he never puts himself over.  Since day one, he’s been a slimy cheater who loses a lot more than he wins.  I have to give him a lot of respect for that.  The Guerreros have basically always been booked as heels, but you can always tell how much they love the business. They work their asses off to make sure everyone involved looks good, even if that means taking a serious beating in the process.

The main event was another great match for Mil and Fenix.  These two have an epic rivalry.  The crowd was completely engaged for the whole match. Mil and Fenix have had some great matches in the past, but this might have topped even those. There was no gimmick here, just two guys giving it everything they had to win the biggest prize in Lucha Underground.  This was all about one of Lucha Underground’s biggest heroes taking down their biggest villain.  And it was just incredible top to bottom.

I thought it was funny that once again, Mil manages to rip open Fenix’s mask, but Fenix got some payback this time.  Mil’s wild curly hair sticking out of his mask looked kind of odd.  Not quite the look you expect from the man of a thousand deaths.

This was a packed show!  Two big title matches, and a lot of hype leading into next week’s Aztec Warfare. And I loved how they changed the whole complexion of Aztec Warfare but making it for the title.  Lucha Underground has really been building up the last few weeks after a slow start.  I really miss Dario, and with both the Disciples and Mil losing tonight, I suspect that Catrina’s rule of the Temple will be coming to an end quickly.